Determining What Topics to Cover with Your Content Marketing via

Over the past year or so, I’ve used this blog as a platform to evangelize for content marketing in a wide variety of ways.

Whether I’m making a case for content as a centerpiece of your marketing strategy, providing guidance on how to maintain a strong content cadence, or advising on the proper tone to take when creating content; I’ve focused a lot on why you should pursue content marketing or how you should go about it, and I’ve never really given coverage to a crucial piece of the puzzle.

After looking through my archives I realized that I haven’t provided much input on what topics you should be covering with your content marketing. Most content marketers suggest developing content around the common challenges faced by your customer base, which is a useful recommendation but let’s go deeper.

Although it’s really tough to give specific advice (every industry is different after all), I have developed a framework through trial and error that has worked well and can be applied to most organizations.

Learn how to choose the right topics to focus your content on to ensure you’re reaching your goals with content marketing.

Clearly Define Your Brand

As I mentioned in the introduction, one topic I’ve certainly covered is how to introspect on your brand in order to properly position your content.

Using Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” approach, take a broad view of your brand’s purpose and then use that mission to align all your content efforts along a central axis.

golden circle

Once you set your content efforts up to be a natural extension of your brand mission and story, at least the broad strokes of content categories will come in to view. At this stage in the process, this rough hint is all you need.

One example I’ve mentioned before is that of Canva. I’ve already noted how being mission oriented gives their disparate content mix unity across mediums and content-types.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 9.29.23 AM

In this case, it’s also easy to see how starting with high-level direction helped Canva. Just look at their categories page in the above image. This is an incredibly broad range, but each topic perfectly aligns with their mission of making good design affordable and accessible to all websites.

Do Demographic Research

After performing brand introspection to discover your brand’s guiding purpose, turn your search outwards and refer to research found in demographic reports. There are a host of high-quality, accessible demographic reporting resources available from a few highly reputable organizations.

Large Crowd
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)